“The choice of Youssoupha to interpret the anthem of the Blues is an eminently political choice”

FIGAROVOX / INTERVIEW – The Minister of Sports gave her support to Youssoupha, after criticism from members of the National Rally. For Barbara Lefebvre, the choice of the rapper is an ideology.

Barbara Lefebvre, teacher and essayist, is the author of Generation I have the right (ed. Albin Michel, 2018).


FIGAROVOX. – Rapper Youssoupha, accused of inciting hatred towards Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour, will perform the anthem of the Blues for Euro 2021. Do you approve of this choice?

Barbara LEFEBVRE. – I doubt that my approval matters at all, but I am skeptical about this choice given the vulgar and insulting remarks made by this artist in some of his songs against political figures or journalists who do not have the happy to please him. Justice after, having condemned him in 2011 on the grounds that his remarks against Eric Zemmour had “an outrageous and contemptuous scope in that it is the culmination of an implicit threat or a call to silence an individual, moreover specifically designated, which is precisely contrary to the foundations of freedom of expression in a democracy.», Had finally released him on appeal. Still, if Youssoupha had insulted another figure in political life than Marine Le Pen, or another journalist than Eric Zemmour, I doubt that he would have been chosen to carry the anthem of the Blues. Apparently, in France today, there is a double standard in indignation regarding, for example, sexist and degrading remarks against a member of the Republic.

Youssoupha is a popular rapper in his category, but it seems to me that for the majority of French people his “ artwork »Remains confidential. Do the French who will support the national team at the Euro know him as much as Johnny Hallyday in 2002? In my opinion, the choice of Youssoupha is therefore part of a logic that is political. Football is this unique popular sport, capable of winning the crowds, uniting the French for the duration of a competition, as such it is eminently political. It is not for nothing that all the French leaders since the Chirac case in 1998 hope to profit from the victories of the national team. Emmanuel Macron, omnipresent during the competition, did not manage to benefit from the Global effect in 2018, even the world underlined then that he had relied too much on “ the euphoria of victory, and over-trusting these special hours ” more than “ his popularity rating had not quivered after the victory ”However! We now know after four years of presidency that nothing symbolic, not even this anecdotal hymn, can be decided without the presidential opinion, it is therefore almost certain that the choice of Youssoupha has received the approval of the Elysee. There is therefore here a primarily political sign which is sent to public opinion and especially to voters likely to see in this choice a signal “ progressive “. The strings seem big, but they say that the bigger it is, the more it goes. Hopefully no one will have the idea of ​​proposing the return of Diam’s to represent France at Eurovision 2022.

Our Minister of Sports also sees no problem with women wearing the Islamic veil in amateur sport, in national and international competitions.

Barbara Lefebvre

Roxana Maracineanu, the Minister of Sports, gave her support on BFMTV: “Youssoupha is an activist singer who denounces racism and who is for diversity”. Can he then afford everything?

No wonder the support of Roxana Maracineanu. Our Minister of Sports also sees no problem with women wearing the Islamic veil in amateur sport, in national and international competitions. That says a lot about his anti-racist slider and his oriented commitment to a “ inclusive diversity Which excludes all those who think that wearing the hijab is first and foremost a political sign of humiliation of the woman who does not have free use of her body. For the minister, the hijab is only one sportswear among others, which does not stigmatize the woman (since the men do not wear the hijab in public that I know of), does not make her wear it -flag of a conservative and patriarchal vision of women. Heard in the Senate as part of a round table on radicalization in sport in June 2020, she had completely downplayed the importance of Islamist penetration in amateur sport, for her it was “ Move along, there’s nothing to see ».

You could tell me that it has nothing to do with Youssoupha, who is not an Islamist, but it is the minister herself who defends the singer on the ground of anti-racism and diversity, by borrowing the multiculturalist logos, it sends a sign to the followers of the “ macronisme woke “. She doesn’t say “ he’s a great artist and his song is great », She supports the choice of Youssoupha by underlining its ideological dimension and therefore absolutely political. All this is sewn with white thread. And when the controversy breaks out, the government majority cries out for political instrumentalisation.

Earlier in the week, the return of Karim Benzema had already sparked controversy. Do you think that the Blues will represent France correctly and with dignity during this competition?

The choice of singer Youssoupha is the continuation, in a way, to the controversy over the selection of Karim Benzema. The player’s abilities are not in question, but if he had not been selected since 2016 it is not by chance. Benzema is involved in a legal case as gloomy as it is unworthy of a national team player. We could have waited for justice to be served next October and for her to be innocent of the accusation of “ complicity in attempted blackmail “. This case is all the more serious as it was the theater of the France team itself, since he tried to manipulate, in Clairefontaine, his teammate Valbuena who was the object of an odious blackmail with the sextape . The question which will be decided by the judges is to know if Benzema was accomplice of the blackmailers as certain indications suggest it. That says a lot about the atmosphere of camaraderie that reigned at that time among the Blues. The FFF became a civil party in this case, it suspended Benzema indefinitely from his position as a striker in the France team at the end of 2015 and now supports his selection for the Euro. It’s strange not to have waited for the rendering of justice. Emmanuel Macron also supports the return of Benzema considering that he has “ mature “And that he is able “To fit into this collective”.

Singing the Marseillaise would be a magnificent gesture of reconciliation on the part of Benzema.

Barbara Lefevbre

But that is not what it is really about. The French want to see if Karim Benzema will be able to sing the Marseillaise instead of spitting on the ground during the national anthem as he did during his previous selections. Now, the France team sings the Marseillaise, since Laurent Blanc explained to them that it was a form of implicit obligation for the sake of the jersey and for the French who like to hear their hymn proudly sung. Some players still seem uncomfortable and are content to move their lips, but at the point where we are, it is preferable to the closed faces and gloomy looks that we saw at the time of Ribery and Benzema. The latter therefore knows that he will be scrutinized during the hymns. Will sing, won’t sing? The French do not ask him for a certificate of good citizenship by this gesture, they expect him to show his attachment to his country, France. Because it is France, with its infrastructures and sports institutions, which gave him the opportunity to be the great international player that he has become. It was not in Algeria, the country of origin of his family that he is free to prefer in his heart to France, that he learned to play football, that he was spotted by coaches who believed in him. The French who love football love the player Karim Benzema. It would be courteous of him if he returned them this affection by showing his love for France. Singing the Marseillaise is a sign of this whether it seems trivial to him or not. If he understands it for the Algerian anthem, he must understand it for that of his country. It would be a magnificent gesture of reconciliation on Benzema’s part.

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